What you Need to Know about Donating Blood

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There are a lot of people who need help, especially in terms of health aid. Fortunately, there are also numerous ways on how one can help in this growing crisis. You do not need to have a lot of money to be able to give out to those who are sick. You have something in your body which will be a lot of help to those people.

Tips for a successful blood donationThe human blood is a very vital component of the body. It brings or delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen in every single cell in the body and helps eliminate toxic and unwanted substances in the same cells as well. The blood is a very powerful component that when something is wrong with this bodily fluid, tendencies are there would also be something wrong in the other organs as well.

Blood donation is one of the most helpful actions one can volunteer to do, not only does it help the patient but it also helps the donor as well. However, blood donation is not as simple as it may sound; there are quite a few things to remember before, during and after donation. Here are a few things you need to know about blood donation to make it safe, successful and pleasant according to the advice of the American Red Cross:

Before Donation:

  • Make sure that the iron level in your blood is in a healthy level. One way to do this is have regular intake of iron rich foods such as liver, green leafy vegetables, poultry, red meat, raisins and iron fortified cereals. Intake of foods rich in vitamin C will help absorb iron in your blood. Foods rich in vitamin C are citrus fruits and juices.
  • Before the day of your schedule, make sure you get a good night’s sleep, at least have 6 to 8 hours. People who lack sleep may also have lower blood volume and may suffer from consequences after donation.
  • Ensure that you have taken in enough fluids (nonalcoholic) before donating blood. You can take an extra 1oz of fluid before you donate blood. Your blood is body fluid and should be kept in a constant amount. If not, severe consequences may occur.
  • Have a hearty meal before your schedule. Make sure that you are able to eat a complete and balanced meal prior to donating. You should avoid foods that are high in sugar and fats because this can affect the results of the tests that will be done to your blood. Too much fat in the blood masks presence of certain infectious diseases making you ineligible to donate blood.
  • If you are going to donate your platelets (platelet donor), your body should be free of aspirin for at least 2 days before the extraction to avoid untoward bleeding on your part. Aspirin inhibits blood clotting and it will not be good for you and the recipient.
  • Do not forget to bring at least two valid IDs along with your donor card if it is not your first time to donate.

During Donation:

  • Do not wear tight fitting clothes especially along the arm area. The sleeves of your clothing should be easily raised to expose the site of puncture.
  • If you are a regular donor, you may suggest veins which were used as access during your previous donations. You can also choose which arm they will puncture.
  • Do not concentrate on the blood extraction. Find other things to do that will disrupt the process. You can talk to other donors or the volunteer extracting your blood.

After Donation:

  • Replenish the fluid volume that was lost in your body by drinking at least 8 glasses of water within 24 hours following your blood donation
  • The wrap bandage can be removed after an hour as long as you do not notice further bleeding of the site. The wrap bandage is the outer covering of the puncture site.
  • The strip bandage or the inner covering of the puncture site should be removed after a few hours. Also, check for presence or persistent bleeding.
  • Avoid vigorous exercises or lifting heavy objects for the whole day.
  • If you notice bleeding on the site, immediately apply pressure and raise your arm above your head until it stops.
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